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Saturday, March 2, 2024
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Indian Media has become the Mouthpiece of Party in Power – Part V

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In continuation with

Friendliness and Excursion Reporting can be easily figured out. Journalists attend press conferences, accept gifts, eat lunches and even drink there. Some get flown to foreign countries and are put up at five-star hotels. Those are called freebies, for the inexperienced. Some journalists are on the permeate guest list of Politician’s PR agents. Who are fed well and taken care of to get their news published in frequent intervals? So, if you have enjoyed the hospitality of a corporate house, Political party or businessman, wouldn’t it be bad manners to speak against it? Think think! Hope you are ready with the answer by now?

But if you were praising it for your readers or viewers, wouldn’t you be doing it just because of the hospitality? It’s a lose-lose situation.

Soft mock-ups of “Hard Talk” Every Indian anchor sees himself or herself as a polished and cultured version of BBC’s Hard Talk. But to do that properly, you need insightful, deep and scholarly questions. Just pretending to be tough with hollow knowledge is not Hard talk, that would be translated to Seedhi Baat, Prime Time or Aap Ki Adalat. The intensity of the subject goes haywire. Very few can manage that and simply cover it up by being loud and rude. Hidden Agenda and evident Bias — most of these things happen unconsciously. But there are some journalists who either have an agenda, which they follow forcefully or are plain, prejudiced. That’s when objectivity is the first thing to be thrown out of the frame.

Every occupation is occupied with people who had their parents in the same business. They sometimes come with a bias and set ideas and it’s difficult to bring about an alteration. While the number of second and third generation journalists is high, there’s another factor. A lot of journalists come from families of politicians and bureaucrats or journalists itself. Some manage to remain neutral and objective others come with their memos and pre-conceived beliefs. It’s not always easy to report about your family friends and connections in a neutral tone. The modern journalists and somewhat copycats or fans of the peculiar style of media men, they lose their own identity and stand following their idols. Some journalists just want that I-card and personality as a media person, a kind of show-off nothing more than that, they are selfie journalists; their social media posts are full of such event postings. They have very limited knowledge about issues but voice their random opinions, they don’t have their own stand, just follow whom their idols follow and always preset their minds. This particular breed is very dangerously mushrooming in the present media.

On the other hand, so-called seasoned media personalities, with their ever loud, expressive and dogmatic voices on popular shows of India. In a discussion, they just scream without letting the panelists speak or they ask very timid posing question to the politicians whom they indirectly serve (You can say their paymasters). They romance and kneel down to big personalities of their choices, but call others a lunatic, anti-national or anti-establishment or so on. They keep no stone unturned to humiliate the opposition to please their followers and bosses. This is called favouritism in the newsroom. From that news studio, one particular term, expression or dialogue gets trending on Twitter. That is another cruel saga, or you can say sadist pleasure for the support group and this particular so-called anchor. They advocated the boycott of a particular commune, students group to an educational institute. Their stupidity gets in the way of coherent debate. Many journalists in India hold preconception (#Godi) as their role model. Media is frantic and unfair towards the left or many other organisations and religious people assuming them anti-nationals. The media has acted irresponsibly in sensitive situations like 26/11 and Nepal earthquakes, finally that government asked Indian media to leave their country. The media is getting more involved in opinion forming than in presenting the facts and letting people form opinions themselves. In a democracy, the media should act as the third front; but the Indian media spends a lot more time in blowing up trivial issues than in focusing on real news like highlighting child trafficking, illiteracy, farmer apathy, daily struggles of a common man, achievements of our athletes abroad, regular reports on performance of MPs and MLAs. Partly, we Indians are to blame for this because we are way more interested in a gold prophecy of some Godman that sends hundreds of people digging for gold than in the latest Government Development schemes. Also, there is no legal system whereby we can sue the media for dishonest reporting, hence “Sab Chalta Hai”.

Indian Media caters only to the two segments of Society, which are its clientele. First one is the Advertisers who contribute the lion’s share of Media revenues. Thus, all the Ambanis, Tatas, Adanis, Patanjalis, and Mittals who run the Indian economy through fair and (mostly) FOUL crony-capitalism and unfair trade practices, don’t get the stick they deserve (Remember how the ‘telltales’ Radia tapes were blacked out by most of the Mainstream Media and neoliberal policies which are meant to benefit ONLY the Capitalist class are sold to the gullible public as the only road to progress. Remember the FAILED Trickle-Down theory that has produced almost ZERO jobs in the last four years.

The second segment that benefits from the ‘largesse’ of Media is the Middle Class. Thus, the large masses of Poor seem to be NON-EXISTENT so are the woes of Farmers, Labourers and Landless. Even that too could be tolerable but the Indian Media in the last one-decade has SOLD its SOUL to the DEVIL. Most News has now become PAID. Post-Modi, Independent Indian Media has become an Oxymoron and has become the Mouthpiece of the Party in Power (Remember the Doordarshan days, Indian Media has come a full circle). Objectivity, Impartiality, Nuanced and Balanced Reportage have faded and what’s being offered is dilapidated, tutored and manipulated (half) truth. White lies flow in the garb of ‘Breaking News’ (Remember the recent Media-manufactured Kanhaiya episode or pseudo-bravery/blackmailing of Rohtak sisters some time back) and TRPs has become the raison d’etre of Media. Little wonders that Truth and Trust have become the casualty and intelligent people have started reading black/white the lines.

Finally, let me come back to Prasun, Abhisar, and Khandekar or Ravish, do they really sound anti-Modi/BJP or are they keeping their head high while speaking the unpleasant truth? To turn away from the guy, who spends Rs 4,000 crore on image building campaign in less than four years, is equivalent to shooting oneself in the foot. Why would you want to lose easy advertising money? I would suggest you to go through the videos of CobraPost to understand whether the media is pro-Modi or anti-Modi. They conducted a sting operation on media houses to see if they were biased or not. Not surprisingly, they were ready to run smear campaigns against the opponents of the current government. It is called Operation 136. India media – or a large section of it – is in fact, afraid of Amit Shah. Several news portals ran the story on Amit Shah that was taken down in less than 10 minutes – fearing a backlash. Does it look like they are anti-Modi?

Ask yourself a simple question? If media polarises our society along the lines of religion, who does that benefit the most? Lastly, look at the contents of Narendra Modi’s one-to-one interviews. I will put several videos to compare how friendly and unfriendly interviews look like. I think that I should stop writing on this subject for now; more I write, more the agony.

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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